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Case Analyses for Intellectual Property Law and New Media


Steven L. Baron, Edward Lee Lamoureux and Claire Stewart

This text is a companion to the 2 nd edition of Intellectual Property Law And New Media: Free for a Fee. Moving the coverage of case analysis to this separate volume, enables the authors to focus their attention on important trial and legal procedures that apply extant law to, largely, new circumstances.
Readers can focus on history and concepts while reading the main text, allowing them to bring understandings derived there to bear on the cases found in this analytic text. The approach offers relief from information overload and allows time and space to «shift gears» between concepts and cases. To aid understanding and learning, the authors provide focused interpretations and analysis throughout.
The coverage allows these books to serve as an excellent resource for undergraduates studying interactive media, as well as being a primer for first year IP law students, a handbook for entrepreneurs, a guidebook for general lawyers to assist in referrals, and an interesting read for those simply curious about the field.
The books are supplemented by, a blog providing textual updates, online links to bibliographic materials, and extensive resource aggregation. Learning objectives for each chapter and a glossary of key terms are provided within the texts.
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Chapter Seven: Tort Laws for Intellectual Property of the Persona Cases


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Tort Laws for Intellectual Property of the Persona Cases

Traditional Media Right of Publicity Cases with New Media Implications

Haelan Laboratories, Inc. v. Topps Chewing Gum, Inc., 202 F.2d 866 (2nd Cir. 1953).

In Haelan Laboratories, Inc. v. Topps Chewing Gum, the term “right of publicity” is coined in the context of a dispute between competing makers of baseball cards.

A baseball player endorsed Haelan’s brand of chewing gum. The player granted the plaintiff exclusive rights to use the player’s photograph in connection with the sales of the plaintiff’s gum. Later, Topps, Haelan Laboratories’ competitor, induced the player to enter into a contract granting Topps the right to use the player’s photograph for sales of Topps’s gum during the term of Haelan’s contract with the player.

Topps’s principal argument was that a statutory right of privacy is personal and not assignable. If this argument had been accepted, it would have meant that the player could, at most, grant a release of liability for use of the player’s photograph for a commercial purpose. Therefore, the defendant argued that defendant’s conduct could not have invaded any right of the plaintiff.

The Court rejected the defendant’s argument, concluding that “the ballplayer also promised not to give similar releases to others,” and that inducing the player ← 75 | 76 → to breach that agreement constitutes tortuous conduct. Essentially, the Court held that in addition to...

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